MUSICAL EMPHASIS IV - EXTREMES



Extremes are another powerful means of emphasis: A moment of silence stresses the solemnity of a memorial service; blaring sirens alert us to the dangers of a fire. A solitary figure on the street highlights the late hour; a standing-room only crowd draws attention to a show’s success.

Musical extremes include fastest and slowest, longest and shortest, highest and lowest, loudest and softest, densest and most spare.

Example 12
Beethoven’s Violin Concerto begins with the following melody.

Musical Example: Ludwig van Beethoven, Violin Concerto, I, melody

Later, the soloist emphasizes the melody by playing it in an extremely high register.

Musical Example: Ludwig van Beethoven, Violin Concerto, I, emphasis of the melody

Example 13
Gyorgy Ligeti’s Desordre presents a melody in the upper register, echoed in the low.

Musical Example: Gyorgy Ligeti, D├ęsordre from Etudes, Book I, melody

The melody is particularly emphasized when both of the pianist’s hands play in a very high register.

Musical Example: Gyorgy Ligeti, D├ęsordre from Etudes, Book I, emphasis of the melody.
The longer an extreme is maintained, the more emphatic it is.

No comments:

Post a Comment